ONLY 27 votes. It doesn’t matter though. One vote alone for a candidate edging the opponent will be declared winner. It was a long agonizing wait for Romy Pecson as the PCOS machines were malfunctioning. It took some days when the counting was finally over. He won by a slim margin against incumbent Malou Paras Lacson. Now he is back at the municipio. Pecson’s life story is one for the books.
For people who barely know who is Romy Pecson, I wish to re-introduce him as I know him. I was his vice president when he was president of the Rotary Club of Angeles some years ago. For one whole year at close range, we worked together in rendering community services. His generosity and desire to help others knows no boundaries. I’ve learned he will ride his big bike and motor at least once a month to the monasterio in Tarlac and lend a hand in whatever is needed there.
I suppose when God made a man with so much humility, Pecson came out. Many friends who know Romy will give credence to the declaration. Romy is Mr. Humble from head to toe. In his life, he suffered a lot of false starts. It is a checkered life. He was a monte card dealer in his youth, when he never gambled in all his life. He took an automotive course when his hands were too fragile to move a monkey wrench. He was jobless when he got married, and was forced to be a tricycle driver to support a family. God loves his creatures who are humble so He blessed Romy a good life when his family was growing.
From a few kilos of meat, he started in his Marisol Village residence a modest meat processing plant in February 1985. In a short period of time, his meat company, Roel’s Food Corporation, made good strides and needed an expansion as the sales grew to millions.
He was known more in his hometown of Magalang as Roel’s, more than his real name. In year 2007, when news spread that he will run for mayor against the popular and well-entrenched Mayor Lyndon Cunanan, the common question among the electorates was: Ninung Romy (Romy who)? When I learned he was having plans of entering Magalang politics, I suggested to him during a break in a fellowship meeting to make the rounds in his town and if possible, cover every square inch of the territory. I warned him that public service is a very demanding job and thankless at that. But he was determined. He won the elections but was able to occupy the mayoral seat only in 2009 when his electoral protest proclaimed him winner against Cunanan. Years later they became good friends. Cunanan was his campaign manager in the recent elections. It was a smooth sail in his reelection bid in 2010 and breezed through again but lost to Malou Lacson in 2016.
Magalang, despite its urban setting now coming from a lethargic town in the 50s, still maintains its curious little town characteristics. It cannot be said that this peaceful town is not marred by crime, though. To recall, two of its previous mayors were felled by assassins’ bullets. The killing of former mayors Butch Dayrit and Dan Lacson came far and between though. Today, everything is quiet in Magalang town except its politics. Except some three years ago, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency discovered a shabu laboratory.
As Pecson is again at the helm, he has to face challenges of a growing town that needs effective social services for the constituency. The last time I was able to talk to him, he is full of enthusiasm and is determined to succeed in behalf of his town mates.
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